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Bonn Police called out: Residents criticise conditions at Afghan consulate

Bonn Police called out : Residents criticise conditions at Afghan consulate

In some cases several hundred Afghans come to the consulate in Bonn-Ückesdorf (in one) a day to clarify their passport matters. Residents are annoyed and feel left alone with the problems.

The people cling tightly to the fence of the Afghan consulate. Many also hold letters in their hands, stretch them up and scream - this is how they want to get the attention of the consulate staff standing on the other side of the fence and talking to the waiting people. Again and again they open the massive gate slightly so that one of the waiting people can enter the consulate.

On this day, more than 300 Afghans, mainly from North Rhine-Westphalia, Hesse, Rhineland-Palatinate and Lower Saxony, came to Ückesdorf to clarify their passport matters. The Bonn police are there with a total of four vehicles, Liebfrauenweg is closed. The officers had to move out because some of the waiting people simply climbed over the fence. The people are sitting on the street, on the sidewalk - some are also sitting on the private properties of their direct neighbours. Occasionally there is rubbish in the hedges and in the flower beds. Countless cars park in the Liebfrauenweg area - most of them have foreign license plates. It often happens that the waiting people use the front gardens or hedges as toilets, out of necessity, because there are no toilets on site.

Although the consulate offers an appointment on its website, many visitors do not use it according to GA information, but simply come to Ückesdorf without an appointment - this would, among other things, cause large crowds.

The residents are annoyed, many can't keep silent anymore. Nothing improves the situation, it gets worse and worse – residents report to the GA. "The logistics are just not right here, and nobody is helping us," says one local resident. All the residents don't want to read their names in the newspaper – some out of fear. They have noticed that recently the public order office in particular has been showing an increased presence. "The conditions which have been regularly created for some time by the high number of waiting visitors to the consulate and which lead to interference for residents and the general public are well known," said Marc Hoffmann, Deputy Press Officer of the City of Bonn, to the GA.

According to Hoffmann, the situations would be caused by "queues in the public traffic area, a large number of parking offenders, contamination by waste or the need to go to the toilet, among other things. Therefore a discussion has already taken place between mayor Ashok Sridharan (CDU) and the consul general.

"Since then, the City Ordnance Service has been on site daily with several employees, usually between 10 and 11.30 a.m.," Hoffmann said. On 7 October, when the rush was particularly high, "two parking tickets" were written for traffic violations according to the city. In addition, the city also had the garbage problem in mind.

"Bonnorange has meanwhile installed an additional trash can at the intersection of Liebfrauenweg. In the vicinity of the Consulate General there are three bus stops, each with a waste bin. This means that visitors to the consulate have a total of five waste bins at their disposal for the proper disposal of waste," explained Marc Hoffmann. The Consul General had also promised that "an employee of the consulate will check the road for rubbish in both directions every day and remove it if necessary“.

Police have been called out 15 times

But this is not enough for the residents. "I would like it if the city would sit down with us and talk to us. We feel ignored here," says one resident. Also the consulate does not look for the contact to the residents.

According to spokesman Robert Scholten, the Bonn police went to the consulate 15 times between August and Monday. "We are always there when a lot of people are there," said Scholten. The police also have a contact person in the consulate. "However, we cannot impose conditions on a consular mission," he explained.

Once again the Afghan consulate left a GA inquiry about the situation in Liebfrauenweg unanswered.

(Original text: Maximilian Mühlens / Translation: Mareike Graepel)